I call her Wednesday afternoon.
The last time we spoke was the week when ABC Primetime ran its March 13 special on porn stars Sunny Lane and Sophia Lynn. Heather was shown counseling Sophia.
I tell Heather that Sophia is back in porn.
Heather: "She never said it was never a possibility for her to return to it. She said it was her desire to leave it but she said that if she like she had to, she would go back."
"I haven’t talked to her in a while."
"I always hope the girls are gonna be happy but I’m never going to shun them for any choices they make."
"I’m getting a divorce. You know my husband has brain cancer. It causes a lot of problems. It just got too much for me. I’ve pretty much lost all my friends. I still have a church here in Vegas that still supports me. They know the whole story."
"I barely have any real friends now."
"I’ve laid low for six months. We’re selling our house. We’ve been separated for six months."
Heather has custody of the two kids. "Everything is civil. We’re still good friends. We have the documentary coming out. We had professional Christian counselors come in from Alaska. They said, ‘You guys have to separate.’"
Luke: "I thought he was terminally ill?"
Heather: "He is. It’s weird. His last brain scan was showing good but he’s had five brain surgeries. His cancer is considered very terminal but for some reason he’s doing really well.
"He’s with his parents. They’re taking care of him. He has a girlfriend. He’s really happy with his girlfriend. She’s really nice."
Luke: "Is she a hairdresser too?"
Heather: "No. She’s deaf. I think it works out because he’s disabled and she’s disabled. He can’t think well and her being deaf, she doesn’t pick up on it. He can’t sign but she can read lips."
"Our home wasn’t a happy home. It wasn’t a healthy home. When you have mental health stuff going on, it makes life unstable 24/7. Now everything’s stable. We’re on a schedule."
"I love him like a caretaker loves a child. It’s really hard that I can’t take care of him anymore because that’s the kind of love that I have for him. It hasn’t been a husband-wife love in six years. It’s really hard having him out there on his own. I really prayed that God would send someone to take care of him the way he deserves."
They were together ten years and had one child together. Five years in, he got a recurrence of his brain cancer.
Heather: "We had a rollercoaster relationship. I’ll never regret it."
"I’m proud of myself for sticking by him and fighting for proton therapy and giving my all for so long to keep him alive."
"I took a huge break from the ministry to get my family in order."
"Any Christian that finds out [about the divorce] says, ‘Quit your ministry, go do hair, and don’t do this anymore.’"
"All of them are like, ‘You’re evil.’ I’ve had pastors I was close to make me feel like I have a guaranteed ticket to hell now. Even though I go around preaching about God’s grace and forgiveness.
"It’s been tough. All these people I respect calling me out like I was Satan."
"I wouldn’t say I’ve been kicked out of my ministry but I’m now on the outs."
"My husband and I haven’t been man-and-wife for six years. I’ve been really struggling for two years. Like drowning. I kept thinking that if I changed my environment [they moved to Las Vegas last September] it might get better, but you can’t heal something that’s missing. A huge amount of his brain is missing. It’s changed his personality."
"The [Riverside] church (Sandals) wanted me just to separate and never date again and never have a male friend and never remarry. And if I did, they would let everybody know that they were no longer supporting me.
"Because I’m not a liar, I said, ‘I’m sorry. I’m gonna date. I’m want to remarry.’ That to me is what’s important in life — sharing my life with somebody.
"A lot of Christians would’ve just lied, because how would they know what I’m doing out here in Vegas?"
"Do you know who knew and kept it on the downlow? JimmyD. See, you can trust a pornographer before you can trust a pastor. I’ve learned this. I’ve had pastors lie about me."
"Stephen Baldwin is still behind me. VH1 didn’t pick up his reality show."
Luke: "How do your boyfriend’s [he’s three years younger than Heather] Jewish family relate to you?"
Heather: "At first, he just tried to make it like I just help other women. Then he slowly breaks it to them that I’m helping women in pornography. That I go to porn conventions. At first, they were like, ‘No way you can be with her.’ When they met me in person, they were so sweet. ‘You need to marry her and have babies.’
"I can’t imagine being like him. Being bar mitzvahed and all this stuff and now… You can imagine how he would feel telling his Jewish parents that he’s got a Christian evangelist to the sex industry who used to be in the sex industry. Not what most Jewish parents would like to hear. But they love me."
Luke: "Have you lost any friends at your new church?"
Heather: "No, but I’m afraid to make them because I came into the church going through this. I’m afraid to make them because I see how conditional my friends can be according to my lifestyle.
"It’s one more lesson. That’s why if you call me and tell me Sophia Lynn is in porn, I will never turn my back on Sophia Lynn. Say I got back with my husband and I got back on track in their eyes, I still would know that they are not my friends. I would never do that to those girls. That’s now what life’s about. It’s not what God’s about. God doesn’t say to shun people when they’re at their worst…because now they’re just going to spiral down."
"I can’t imagine what it would be like if I had nobody who was Christian behind me. That would create a real spiral. I did go through a time of questioning God. With my marriage and the way that my husband’s brain rotted in front of my face, and that I couldn’t do anything about it and no prayers fixed it and the problems we were going through were unfixable, I questioned God over and over. Why would you allow this to happen in my marriage?
"When the solution was separate and never marry and never date, don’t have any boyfriends, live by yourself until he passes away, that shook my face up. My spiritual advisors were telling me this is how I was to live forever.
"Then I felt that God was there for me by putting [certain Christians] there. They told me that you live in a fallen world where disease and things can happen that are unfair. You don’t live in a Garden of Eden. Because of sin, things happen but I don’t have to be shamed forever."
"My mentor went through a divorce and the same thing happened to her where everybody said, ‘You’re going to hell. That’s it. We’re done with you.’ And she’s a pastor now."
"God provided people to guide me."
"I would walk into my meetings crying, saying, ‘Please everybody, pray for me that I don’t get a divorce. I can’t take it.’ Everybody would pray and try to say something nice and shut me up so everything would look good. But Annie [an ex-hooker now turned on by Christ] acknowledged that things were not OK. She stuck by me."
"I know God is not done with me. I’m just hanging in there."